Ode à ma Mère

My sister also wanted Mom's 36 inch baroque South Sea rope. 10-12 mm creamy pearls. The following photo is before I washed and restrung them.


They looked a little dull and needed restringing, so I gave them a good wash and restrung them (following photo). They improved greatly. Actually they look better in the photo than they do in real life.


If this had been the first strand of pearls I ever restrung, it would have been the last. This was the worst restringing project I have ever done. The beads inside the pearls are loose and rattle around. Some internal beads were shattered (probably from the drilling). I would pull the old thread out, and lose the hole inside the pearl. Then I'd shake the pearl like a Magic 8 Ball until the hole reappeared, or poke around with the needle to turn the bead around, until I found the hole. Some of the drill holes were huge so I had to double (or sextuple) knot between every pearl. On the plus side, the nacre is very, very thick.





Mom enjoying her pearls. She was always dressed to the nines. She's 80 years old in these photos.




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Congratulations on your patience in stringing those pearls! Very frustrating and time consuming! They turned out very nice though and is a very pretty strand!
Nothing screams RETRO like a circle pin. I'm not sure when my Mom bought the pin, but I remember her wearing it in the early 1960s. The necklace of perfect 5.5 - 6 mm akoya pearls was bought right after I was born, in 1959. It was her present to herself on having me, so of course, I wanted this strand.


Worn with my yellow gold Mikimoto huggies.


In later years, my Mom suffered from Pearl Shrinkage Syndrome, and bought a mabe and diamond enhancer to wear on the necklace, and mabe earrings. I'm not a huge mabe fan, but these are very nice.



For anyone who is afraid that akoyas don't hold up, this necklace is almost 60 years old, has been worn a lot, and looks as good as the day it was bought. Then again, I think it probably has thicker nacre than some of the more recent akoyas, so I give a thumbs up to anyone who can snag a vintage strand of akoyas.

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BWeaves, your mom looks so great in these photos! Such a bright eye-catching smile.. and I LOVE women dressing up)))
Lovely collection of huggies. And brooches has always been my weak point)) thank you for sharing your family's treasures!
Such lovely pearls, BWeaves ... that strand of baroque WSS pearls is so gorgous! The photo of your mom wearing the strand ... priceless and beautiful!
BW-- I promised that I would post my mom's rice crispies. They were purchased in San Francisco in the 1980's and as you can see are very dirty around the clasps. I am thinking of ways I could update them. It is two pieces, a necklace and a bracelet which I connected for the photos.IMG_1318.jpgIMG_1319.jpgIMG_1317.jpg
OOO, lovely. The nice thing about Rice Krispies is you don't have to knot between the pearls. It's strictly just string them. With the clasps connected, your necklace reminds me of my one with the lapis beads. Perhaps instead of clasps you could make a long necklace and include some statement beads or large soufflé pearls? Then use a pearl shortener (the oval loop kind) to make a choker torsade as a different look. I just love the feel of lots of strands of small pearls around my neck. They feel like silken tassels. Or perhaps add in some gemstone beads, provided the drill holes are nice and smooth.
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Those pearls do look very luxurious; pretty clasps too! Here you go:

You are so very kind to correct these!!

Such great ideas! You have stimulated my imagination for these!
BW, this is such a lovely tribute to your mother. Thank you for sharing your pearls with PG. Your mother was a beautiful woman, and looked stunning in her pearls. I loving all of this!
No thanks needed, Pearly-Whites ... I'm selfish, and like to see the pearls :)
Pearl Shrinkage Syndrome is a very real disease. If my mother had been younger and healthier, she would have been all over the soufflés and Edisons. When she was still buying pearls she was into mabes to get the large pearl look. At some point in the last 10 years she bought these gorgeous 9 mm akoyas.


Here they are with the 6 mm akoyas and the mabe and diamond enhancer she wore on both necklaces.


And NO, those are NOT Mikimoto pearls. Mom had two Miki clasps from the double strand necklace she had made, and the Miki clasps are really nice clasps, so she replaced the crappy little fishhooks with the Miki clasps when she restrung her pearls.

The large necklace has the clasp she used to have on her SS rope, but it kept rolling over on its back, so she replaced the clasp with a ball clasp on the SS rope, and used the SS clasp on the 9mm akoya choker.
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BW--you should try those on together. Recently (and I apologize that I can't remember who) someone showed some smaller akoya nested with some fresh waters and it looked great. Those are lovely, classic pearls.
I'm really enjoying each of these pieces you are showcasing, BWeaves. What wonderful taste your mother had and they really suit you so well!